Good Old Wrights

finishing touches on a rather grueling project

The first time I sewed with a lining fabric I had a very difficult time. This was because A. I wasn’t using the proper needle, and B. I was expecting this slippery fabric to behave like the quilting cottons, flannels, and corduroys I was used to.  Now I know to install a microtex or sharp needle, stitch slowly, and take advantage of the sewing machine’s table for fabric support.  Sewing with the Bemberg rayon is as easy as anything else, now.

To keep the rayon from ravelling, I applied a bias tape edge.

To keep the rayon from ravelling, I applied a bias tape edge.

Apologies for the low light; this was sewn in the evening in my mother’s very dark Victorian-era house.  I sewed bias tape at the lining sleeve hems before applying them, as well:

Applying sleeves by machine is often sturdier than hand-finishing them at the end of jacket construction.

Applying sleeves by machine is often sturdier than hand-finishing them at the end of jacket construction.

Since the jacket hem and lining hem are hand-stitched, I was able to join the lining and shell sleeves by machine, which is my preferred method, before turning the jacket right-side out.

A traditional lining leaves the most gorgeous finishing on the inside of the jacket:

Buttonholes, again applied by my old Singer.

Buttonholes, again applied by my old Singer.

Topstitching around the jacket hem, front placket, and collar yields a semi-formal look:

Topstitching around the perimeter of the jacket, including collar.

Topstitching around the perimeter of the jacket, including collar.

Finally, it’s time to sew on the three buttons.  I love sewing on buttons.  I use a method outlined in an online class I took from Susan Khalje.  I double-thread the needle, then iron beeswax into the four strands.  I only have to dive through the holes in the button twice, before wrapping a shank and then tying an invisible knot:

Sewing on buttons: the most delicious final detail.

Sewing on buttons: the most delicious final detail.

All finished!  The suit hangs up and awaits my daughter’s arrival home from camp.

Who knew?  Yes, the linen, batiste, and Bemberg rayon made for a deliciously light, cool garment with a casual construction; however, by the end of the whole event I was ready to move on. To be fair, this wasn’t the linen’s fault or anything else: it was more likely that creating this in two different sewing rooms in two different houses- and moving our family while I was sewing it – left a sour taste in my mouth.

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